Gurpreet Singh ’22
Through helping people with physical limitations, a company is formed.
Program: Occupational Therapy (MS)
Hometown: Middlesex, N.J.
High School: Middlesex High School
Some Ways I Participated at Iona:
- Historian of the Iona College Student Occupational Therapy Association – I represent my cohort and spread awareness about occupational therapy.
Why did you choose Iona?
Iona College offers the small school experience I was looking for. This is especially important as a future healthcare professional because I want to be able to bring the same personalized care and attention to the clients I work with. Iona OT also prioritizes community engagement and entrepreneurship which is a unique quality that sets us apart from other colleges and programs.
What have you accomplished at Iona that you are most proud of?
My friend and classmate, Amanda Fitzgerald, and I won 2nd Place in the Iona Innovation Challenge 2020 with AccessiGear, the college branded adaptive apparel company that we created. The Hynes Institute was an incredible resource in helping us develop this idea, and we had tremendous support from our program director, Laurette Olson, Ph.D. AccessiGear will be our capstone project that we will submit as part of our degree. Then we anticipate launching AccessiGear as a business within the next two years at Iona and other Westchester colleges. We hope to expand to other schools in New York within the next five years.
Tell us more about AccessiGear and adaptive clothing.
Adaptive clothing is designed to be accessible for persons with physical limitations. For example, an adaptive shirt for someone with little to no range of motion of one side of their body can be made open on that side and lined with hidden Velcro attachments so that the person is able to dress themselves effortlessly with just one hand.
College branded adaptive apparel allows students with disabilities or injuries to participate during events and represent their university on and off campus with no physical strain just like any other student.
Tell us something you learned about yourself since coming to Iona.
Iona has helped me cultivate my ability to think innovatively. My classes in OT and in Entrepreneurship helped me to see that there is an interrelatedness between business and occupational therapy. Effective business ideas support the needs of the community; it just takes interdisciplinary work to execute these ideas successfully.
Tell us about something you learned (in or out of the classroom) that really surprised or excited you.
I learned the importance of community and how genuine connections go a long way. During the transition to online learning due to the pandemic, my service-learning site and LIRIC were so supportive in making sure the Iona OT students still got meaningful learning experiences. They volunteered readily to help us gain the hands-on experience we needed even over a virtual platform. The spirit of the Iona community is really special!